Editor’s note: This article was originally published March 15, 2014
We’ve heard of electro-cumbia and even hip-hop cumbia, but cumbia-punk? That perked my ears up, and got me curious about the Kumbia Queers of Mexico/Argentina. Apparently, it grabbed the attention of a lot of other folks too. The all-female group played to a packed Flamingo Cantina Friday night, and fans couldn’t get enough of the unique genre-blending rhythms.
From the band’s excitement after the show, it seems like that they might not have expected such an overwhelmingly enthusiastic reception. But they deserved it. Kumbia Queers not only masterfully wove harder edge rhythms and danceable grooves, but they also did it with undeniable showmanship. There’s a little bit of a musical cultural shock when you first see the punk-rock clad women suddenly synchronize their dance moves on stage—cumbia style. There was head banging and hip swaying. It’s not your grandmother’s cumbia.
Kumbia Queers have said they decided to create a hybrid sound after they grew bored of the punk rock scene. What started as a fun project has now turned into a successful touring band.
After the high-energy set that kept crowds dancing, fans high-fived band members as they stepped off stage, hugged them and thanked them for a memorable SXSW experience.
Catch Kumbia Queers again at 11 p.m. on Saturday at the Russian House.